Category Archives: Voices

April showers…?

Mar 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

March is almost over! And with the end of March, brings the beginning of warmer and sunnier days. Yet, this area is quite temperamental when it comes to weather. While the varying weather is always a cause for excitement, it can be a bit difficult to plan for. So while April may be the time when it actually starts to feel like spring, the warmer weather usually brings a load of rain.

Actually, it rained for the first time the other day and I was simultaneously excited that it wasn’t snowing, but was upset that I was getting soaked. (April makes people feel strange things sometimes…) So I have some advice for those rainier days here at Utica College.

Make sure you have a good raincoat. And rainboots. And an umbrella. The key to not hating the rain, is to be prepared for the rain. If it looks dreary out, bring an umbrella with you just in case! Nothing stinks more than getting ready, and then getting caught in a downpour on the walk to class. So always try to be one step ahead of the weather! Rain can actually be a lot of fun in the proper attire; I love splashing in puddles if I’m wearing rainboots! (Also, if your hair does not do well with rain…bring a hat!)

Plan for a rain date (or pay attention when events have them) If you are planning to go to an event or are planning an event that is outdoors plan for the rain. If it is your organization’s event make sure to have a plan b in case you cannot be outside. If you’re going to an event, pay attention if they have a different day…and plan to attend it on that day potentially as well! Often people forget to set aside the rain day if they have to attend the event, and if it does get rescheduled they might not have work off (etc.)

Soak it up. Sometimes rainy days require not changing out of pajamas and drinking tea and reading a good book/marathoning netflix. I love taking advantage of dreary days like that. Be as cliche as you want on rainy days! Stare out a window all moodily and take a pic, that’s what instagram is for, right? All jokes aside, rainy days are great days to do absolutely nothing…or you can do absolutely everything and be super productive! It’s a personal choice, but use rainy days as an excuse to do whatever you want.

Sometimes when its rainy people get upset, but just take the weather in stride! Everything can be good if you let it! Also, you know what they say… “April showers, bring may flowers!”

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We Live in the Future! Make Technology Work for You!

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Michael Defone

Being organized in today’s world is extremely important. Now one thing you can do is get a planner or you could even leave sticky notes all over your room but in my personal experience is to use technology to your advantage.
I would consider myself a techy guy and I love having all kinds of gadgets. Two of my favorite gadgets are my Samsung Galaxy S5 and my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. I have always had apple products but around last semester I decided to try out android products. I am telling you right now the amount of organization and coordination you can utilize with android devices is out of this world.
One of the first things I wanted to talk about was all of the calendar apps you can use. I love to make sure the app is customizable so that way I have control of how the app runs and feels. The best part about android is the accessability of widgets. Having the widget right on my home screen gives me easy access to all the information I put into my calendar. Most of the calendar apps also are compatible with google accounts so syncing your calendars to the apps is easy and simple giving you unlimited information right at your finger tips.
The are tons of sticky noke apps and widgets that allow you to stick little reminders right to you home screen and maybe even your lock screen. These come in handy when you have that random little fact your trying to remember but know you will forget.
Another great thing about these android devices is that rel time whether widgets and apps and plentiful. I personally have weather widgets for Utica, Rochester, and Muncy so that way where ever I am I know I am prepared for the weather. This comes in handy especially in Utica since Utica can have all four season within a single day.
Having a tablet I think is a extremely smart investment. It last for an extremely long time, it is easy to carry around and looks professional. Now a days there is just too much information out there and with a tablet or even a andiod smart phone you can have all the information you want all together on one scree with live feed. You got to be one step ahead of your competition and being organized and more prepared is the first step to landing that big job or interview.

Staying Awake in Night Class…

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

As fun and exciting as classes are, sometimes you may choose to take a night class from 6:30-9:20 pm and if you are a morning person like me, you may be a bit drowsy by this time at night! I personally do enjoy taking night classes because it means you only have the class once a week and allows for more time to work on the materials outside of class. On the other hand, sometimes it is hard after a long day to go and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for night class and that is why I have had to come up with these ideas for staying awake in night class.

1. This is sort of obvious, especially for college students, but getting a little coffee is not a bad idea! I do not drink coffee in the mornings of “Night Class Nights” because I want to save it for night class! Remember that drinking too much coffee can be unhealthy. Drinking a bottle of water can also keep you refreshed and energetic, if you are not a big coffee drinker, or just want to be healthier.

2. Write your notes! Many professors put their notes in Powerpoint and allow students to print the notes before class so they can just take little notes on the side. I believe it is very beneficial to go to class without the printed notes, take the notes and then print out the Powerpoint slides to make sure I get all of the information. This will help you retain the information better and stay focussed in class. Professor Pack tells his students all the time to write out notes instead of printing them out because it leaves a lasting imprint on memory (when I learn more about it in Neuro I will be sure to share the information with you!) I know this is a big study aid for me, while helping me stay awake!

3. Wear a nice outfit! Most people, including myself, just want to wear sweatpants and comfy clothes to night class, but this will just make you feel more sleepy. It is better to wear a nicer outfit or less comfortable clothes (than sweatpants) because it will make you less likely to feel like you are about to go to bed. I am not saying you have to be uncomfortable or wear fancy attire to night class, just wear something you would not sleep in!

4. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before or take a nap before going to night class. This way you will still be energetic and your mind will still be ready to learn for your night class! It is important to get all of the information from your classes as you can.

5. Eat a good, healthy meal before hand! I know 6:30 is usually my dinner time, so it is important to make sure you get a good meal before night class so you can stay focussed and energized. Although it probably would not help to eat a lot of turkey before night class… (they have a chemical that makes you sleepy!) You can also take snacks and gum to chew in your night class to help you stay awake.

Reasons to go to Admissions Events as an Incoming Freshman

Mar 26, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! As you guys know, I work for Utica College Admissions as an Ambassador-Tele counselor! I work to call students who are interested in Utica College and help them out with the admissions process and answer any questions they may have. At admissions events such as Open Houses and Accepted Students Day’s, myself and the rest of the admissions staff show students and their families around Utica College, answer their questions, inform them of the college and make them feel welcome! This Saturday (March, 28) is the first Accepted Student Day of the semester and I am so excited to meet everyone! I love talking to students interested in Utica College because I remember how nervous I was when I was looking into colleges and I remember all of the questions I wanted to ask that I wanted true answers for! (Check out my previous post for questions and TRUE answers I give to students!) Now that you know why I like to work the admissions events, these are the reasons why you should attend admissions events (such as Accepted Students Day) as a student interested in Utica College…


Utica College Accepted Student Days offer accepted students and their family members the opportunity to gain a stronger perspective of a day in the life of a UC student through a series of sessions that will discuss the student/family experience, academic programs, and student life at UC.  Students and their family members will also have an opportunity to have lunch in our Dining Commons and go on a campus tour.

1. At the Accepted Student Day, you and your family are invited (for free) to check out Utica College in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Looking at colleges is a big step in a person’s life and can be quite frankly, terrifying. At Utica College, the admissions team works to make you and your family feel welcome and comfortable as possible while getting important information. I know that when I was looking at colleges, the other colleges I was accepted into (9 not including Utica!) did not make me feel nearly as comfortable as Utica did. This comfortability is the reason I picked Utica College over the nine other colleges and universities I looked into.

2. You will never be lost or have to wonder where to go! On a few of the admissions events I went to for other colleges, my family and I were confused and even got lost. The admissions staff at Utica make sure you know where to go and help you completely throughout the day. This made it a lot easier for me my freshman year at Utica College because I had a great sense of where everything was located.

3. You get to meet and talk to students that attend Utica College of varying majors, who are in different clubs and activities and that participate in sports! This allows for the incoming/accepted students to get many perspectives from the students attending Utica College and allows for many questions to get answered!

4. You get to meet faculty members and professors for your major! This is a great way to get more information on the programs you are interested in and a way for you to meet the people who will soon  become like family to you!

5. You overall get to learn anything and everything about the college. You get to speak with professors, faculty members, students, you can go on a tour of the college and the residence halls and even eat lunch at our dining commons! It really is the best way to learn everything about the college before actually attending to make sure it is the perfect college for you and fits all of your needs.

My Favorite Thing.

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

One of my favorite experiences at Utica College has been my involvement every summer with the first year orientation program. I started doing it the Summer after my freshman year, and fell in love with the experience. It’s a lot of fun introducing new students to the UC community, and getting to know the incoming first year class.

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

(Fellow mentor [&blogger!] Courtney and I taking a picture with a student from Orientation!)

Orientation is a great way to meet new people on campus-both current students, and the new incoming class. You are seen as a “pseudo adult/role model” by the incoming class, and its actually really cool. One of my favorite things is when someone comes up to me and mentions how they remember me from orientation! It even happens months after the fact! The impression that you make on the incoming students is huge.

(Mentors are always super happy people...right?)

(Mentors are always super happy people…right?)

I also love how orientation allows for current students to share their stories and experiences with incoming students. It’s nice to be able to give little tips and tricks to the new class so they too can navigate their own ways through their college careers.

(The transitions cast from last year.)

(The transitions cast from last year.)

Going with the theme of the sharing of information, orientation also holds a play, “Transitions” every session. This play is written/directed/acted in by students. It’s a lot of work because the mentors that are part of the cast only get a few days to rehearse, but those few days rehearsing are some of my favorite Orientation memories! The whole point of the play is to show students various situations that have could actually happen on our campus, and it also shows what to do in case an event like that were to ever occur.  I’ve been involved with transitions every year I’ve worked Orientation, and I always love the responses that students have to it.

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

(Ice breakers are one of my favorite things about Orientation!)

Another faucet of orientation is ice breakers. As a mentor, you are in charge of helping to “break the ice” between the new students. This is done by little games and get-to-know-you activities that range from stationary name games, to massive games of red light/green light. The games are fun to facilitate because you get to watch as students gradually become more comfortable with one another, and establish tentative friendships.

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

(The Orientation crew from two years ago!)

This year the first year orientation has been moved to the fall, so it is going to take place August 28th-30th. If you remember your orientation or think it sounds like fun, I strongly encourage you to apply to be a mentor! (Go here: This year I decided to apply to become a student coordinator of orientation and I got the job. It’s a little more in depth than a regular mentor job, but I’ve never had more fun at a job in my life; orientation is literally one of my favorite things at Utica College…even more of a favorite than brown paper packages tied up with string. (Sorry, the Sound of Music is a classic…I couldn’t resist.)

To be sappy, Orientation helped me to become the person I am today. I grew more comfortable with the Utica College community, and grew more comfortable taking charge and being a leader. Orientation introduced me to friends that would help to shape my experiences at UC and even more so, my life in general. I am forever grateful for that. So, if you want to be a super sap like me, apply to be an Orientation Mentor. Trust me, you won’t regret it!


(The Orientation crew from last year.)

Registering for Classes

Mar 25, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Registration for fall classes is soon approaching! Here are a few tips to help you create the best schedule possible for next semester:

  • Run a degree evaluation on BannerWeb (listed under “Logins” at the top of the Utica College web page). The easiest way I have found to do this is to search “Eval” in the search box, and click the option “Generate New Evaluation.” This evaluation will tell you exactly what classes you need in order to complete your degree requirements, and it will also tell you what classes you have already completed.
  • BannerWeb also has a Course Catalog which explains what each course means. If you have options between PSY 321 and PSY 322, for example, the Course Catalog shows that 321 is Infancy and Childhood, while 322 is Adolescence Psychology. The Course Catalog also tells you how many credits a class counts as and if it is offered as a lecture course, online course, or both.
  • After you have checked out what courses you need for your degree and what those courses are, you can go to the Class Schedule option in BannerWeb to see what times and days the classes will be offered in the upcoming semester. This allows you to plan potential schedules for next semester. It is helpful to know if two classes you need are at overlapping times, or if a lab is only offered once a week, or if your favorite professor is teaching an elective that you could fit into your schedule.
  • Meet with your advisor. Bring your degree evaluation and several potential schedules with you to show to your advisor. Your advisor might be able to help you decide which classes will be the most beneficial for you to take in the upcoming semester and which classes you should wait to take when you are further in your academic career.
  • Have backup plans! The day of registration, plan on logging on and completing your registration as soon as you are able to. If a class is closed out before you are able to secure a spot in it, have a list of several other classes you can take in its place that can still fit into your degree requirements, count as an elective, or are interesting to you. Don’t fret if you don’t get into every class you want, because sometimes the classes you don’t originally plan on taking end up being the most memorable!

Favorite Professors

Mar 24, 2015 | Author: Cynthia Chuni

Although my academic experience at Utica College Isn’t as long as upperclassmen I have met some amazing professors. All of the professors that I’ve had so far have been more than willing to help their students and have an exceptional way of teaching their students. There are two that have stood out to me the most in these past two semesters.

  • My first semester here at UC I took psych 101 with Dr. Kreiger. My original major was health studies, that is until i took this class. This class is what peeked my interest into the field and motivated me to change my major. Many thought he was a tough professor, I never understood that. Unlike other professors Kreiger gave students one free pass to hand in an assignment. He only had about three assignments throughout the whole semester so this was more than fair. He even took the names of the students who came to class the day before thanksgiving break and exempt them from the next assignment. Before we had an exam he always announced to the class what specific topics from each chapter would be covered. His style of teaching is another reason i enjoyed the class. Instead of making sure we understood the exact definition of a theory he always incorporated examples from his own life. As nerdy as it sounds i could probably go on forever about this class, he’s extremely fair and makes an amazing effort for students to understand the course material.
  • The second professor I’m actually currently taking this semester. Professor Richardson is my English 102 teacher. I was referred to take her by my heop counselor. I’m glad I was, from the first day of class I could tell just how many other students loved her as a professor as well. There had been a handful of students in my class who had her the previous semester for English 101 and joined her this semester. My class is actually pretty small, about 15 students. She does an amazing job at having conversation with every student as a whole class. Her lessons have to be my favorite. She involves very modern and recent trends into assignments to make them interesting. For example as an intro to our psycho-geographic unit she had us read several articles on parkour (which is pretty cool btw check it out!). The class in general is made very interesting by the professors personality and her teaching style.

Both professors made class very interesting by both their effort to make the class material relate to the students as well as their own personal touches to the class. I’m hoping too have more classes with both in the semesters to come as well as meeting more great professors. Until next time guys, hope you enjoyed!

Even the biggest failure, beats the hell out of never trying

Mar 24, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

College is a time of growth and development. During the ages of eighteen to twenty two you will have great accomplishments and achievements. But with all great successes come failures. What no one seems to really tell you is that being a young person is all about failing and making mistakes. For many college students it can seem as though college is more a test of how many times you can get back up from getting knocked down again.

I can definitely relate to this feeling, especially recently. I seem to be experiencing a lot of failure lately and it’s really been getting the better of me. Over break I had an interview for a really great summer internship. It would have been a really great opportunity with a lot of experience in my field. The interview was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had and I left feeling really confident. I was sure I had the job in the bag.

A few days went by and I heard nothing. I logged onto Facebook and I saw that the two other girls that I knew had also applied for the Internship; posted about getting the internship. Even though I had not heard from the program, I knew at this point that I had not gotten the job because if I had I would of found out when the other girls did.

I was feeling an array of emotions from sad, to angry, to disappointed. I felt like a huge failure. So many questions raced through my mind. What did those girls have that I didn’t? Am I not smart enough? Do I not have enough experience? Did I actually blow the interview? I just didn’t understand what I did wrong. I mean they seemed to really like me, so what was wrong with me then?

After I stopped questioning myself, all I could feel was anger and regret. I was mad at myself for not being good enough, but I was also really mad at my mom. My mom had really pushed me to apply for this internship and go for it. I was hesitant and on the fence about applying, but with her encouragement, I decided to apply. I was mad that she pushed and helped me applied. As irrational as it sounded, if she hadn’t pushed for me to apply then I would have never known any better about the job and therefore wouldn’t be hurt about it.

I thought about the way I felt for a little while and one thing kept sticking out in my head. My favorite show is Grey’s Anatomy and I practically know every line of every actor to every episode. It’s a slight obsession, but intertwined in the ridiculously good looking McDreamy and McSteamy episodes, are some excellently written poetic life lessons. When thinking about my regret about applying for the internship, one quote on the show by lead character Meredith Grey kept playing in my head; it went something like “knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying”.

Never trying would be the easy and safe thing to do in life. You would never get hurt or experience loss or pain, but is that really better than sitting around wondering about the what if’s? You can’t get very far in life without trying. If you don’t take risks and go for things, then you will surely be stuck in a rut. Yes, failure can sting but so can wondering what could have been.

So even though I failed, and didn’t get the outcome I was hoping for, I’m sure happy I tried. I took a chance and went for something. I’m not going to regret taking a risk that had the potential to further my educational experience. Instead of focusing on the outcome, I’m going to choose to focus on the future. I’m going to apply for more internship programs and other positions that could benefit me. I’m going to focus on all the things I’m good at, my past successes, and successes to come. As much as this experience sucked, it made me thankful. Overcoming failure is an essential key to a happy life and learning to triumph over it will only make you stronger. So don’t ever be afraid to take risks that may result in mistakes or failure. Failures do not define you as an individual; how you choose to overcome them does.

Eye of the Tiger

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As the weather gets warmer and the end of the semester nears, it can be tough to stay focused on academics. It’s tempting to put off that term paper in favor of hanging on the quad with friends. However, these last few weeks of classes will be over before you know it, so it’s important to stay on top of your assignments now more than ever. Here are a few ways I keep focused when the end is near:

1. Make a list. Having a to-do list can help you prioritize and complete assignments before their deadline. You won’t forget an assignment or miss a meeting if you jot it down in your planner or on your list of things to accomplish for the week.

2. Give yourself a mantra. Repeating a phrase to yourself when you are getting frustrated can help you feel more confident and focused. I always tell myself to have the “eye of the tiger,” and usually follow that with a little singing and bad dancing.

3. Bribe yourself. For every page of your paper you complete, give yourself 5 M&Ms. Or, once you get your group project done, treat yourself to a white hot chocolate from Common Grounds. When you get that daunting study guide filled out, celebrate with a half hour TV show and a chocolate bar. (As you can tell, I use a lot of chocolate when I bribe myself). Set manageable goals for yourself, reward yourself for your progress, and keep the momentum going in order to complete even the hardest things on your to-do list.

4. Create a study zone. Try not to study somewhere that you know will be distracting. If your residence hall is hard to study in because your friends often stop by your room, go to the library. If the people walking around in the library snatch up your attention, consider finding a table in Gordon Science Center, the Romano lounge, or the Cybersecurity building. There are lots of hidden areas in the academic buildings that can be great for getting a paper written or a textbook chapter annotated. Find a zone you can really focus in and get it done!

5. Put away your phone. Stop hindering your success with your phone. Save the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Buzzfeed, and YouTube for later. Put your phone on silent, on airplane mode, or turn it all the way off, put it in your backpack, and leave it in there until you complete your work. Don’t let your phone be your own worst enemy; put it away to stay focused on your work. I promise, the world will not end because you are disconnected for a few hours.

Stay focused on your goals and what you need to accomplish in order to achieve them. Summer will be here before you know it, so keep the eye of the tiger until then!

Spring Break (HOMW 7)

Mar 23, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi everyone! With only six weeks of classes left in the semester, this week’s highlight was pretty easy to identify: it was the fact that we were on break!


While I absolutely love my life at Utica College, it can get overwhelming. Between classes and assignments, organization meetings and events (GSA, Psych Society, and Student Senate- just to name a few that I am involved in), office hours as a Teaching Assistant, my responsibilities as a Resident Assistant, time spent at the WPNR station… there is a lot on my plate! I really enjoy everything I am a part of, which is why I am happy even on days that my schedule is chaotic. However, it is definitely nice to have a break from my usual routine.

Spring Break was just what I needed to rest, recharge, and relax before finishing up the last six weeks of my senior year. Most of my break was spent sleeping, hanging out with my sister, and playing with my kitten, Cleo. I was so grateful to have a few days to spend with my family before the end of the semester craziness kicked in.

Now that we’re back on campus, I am excited to finish out my career here at Utica College strong. I can tell many of my senior friends feel the same way, as I see the look of determination on their faces as they hit the library or walk to class. There are plenty of fun events coming up in these next six weeks as well, and warm weather is ahead. I am definitely feeling optimistic about the rest of this semester, and hope you are, too!